'New Millennium Classrooms Act' Introduced

A group of House legislators introduced a bill yesterday that expands tax incentives to encourage businesses to donate computers with multimedia capabilities to schools and libraries.

Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced the bill, saying his goal is to get it included in this year's tax relief legislation. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) and Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) joined Portman in announcing the new legislation.

The legislation calls for a 30 percent tax credit to be given to companies for computers they donate to schools and libraries. The tax credit would rise to 50 percent if the equipment was targeted to communities in acute need of computers.

Education Department guidelines recommend that there be one computer for every five students in a classroom, but the Educational Testing Service reports that public schools average only one multimedia unit for every 24 students.

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